To call 10-year-old Rachel Shardlow a survivor is an understatement.
In December, the girl tangled with a box jellyfish, one of the world's most venomous creatures, in the Calliope River near Gladstone, Australia.
"Usually when you see people who have been stung by box jellyfish with that number of the tentacle contacts on their body, it's usually in a morgue," Jamie Seymour, a zoology and tropical ecology associate professor at James Cook University told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The creature didn't just sting the girl. It enveloped her: Its tentacles wrapped around her limbs and wouldn't let go. She couldn't see or breathe. The creature, which is capable of killing an adult in four minutes, wrapped its tentacles tighter and knocked her unconscious.
"I don't know of anybody in the entire literature where we've studied this where someone has had such an extensive sting that has survived," Seymour told ABC. "When I first saw the pictures of the injuries I just went, 'you know to be honest, this kid should not be alive'. I mean they are horrific."
After several weeks in the hospital Shardlow is still feeling the effects - but the fact she is feeling anything at all - let alone doing as well as she is baffles Seymour. For now, besides scarring and memory loss, she is doing well, her family told ABC.
ABC: Young stinger victim speaks out
There have been others who have survived being stung by the deadly jellyfish, but Seymour said many of them are stung quickly, but not to the extent Shardlow was and with as many tentacles wrapped around them, Seymour said.
Seymour and other Queensland researchers received a $40,000 grant to investigate just how lethal is the venom of Irukandji and its relative box jellyfish. They will also look for treatments to help those like Shardlow who are stung by them.
The jellyfish, found often in the Great Barrier Reef, can have as many as 15 tentacles on each corner of its bodies with nearly 5,000 stinging cells, according to a guide to sea creatures posted on the Great Barrier Reef site.
To have survived something like that is a miracle. Truly!
Best wishes for a COMPLETE recovery!
Truly amazing!I think we need to study and explore this wonderful creature more.
Perfectly, the child has a great antibodies that repels stings and poisons. Remarkable indeed.
i trully believe that god has a perpose for that little girl
Wow Thats AMAZING I hope u feel better soon. and i wish u luck
Mr. Solomon – just because we can't explain something now doesn't mean it was the work of a deity. Remember how people used to think thunderstorms were manifestations of the gods' anger? Thank goodness for science and its continuous efforts to explain the unknown.
@ D. Solomon,
This would be the same GOD that created this creature and then made it attach this girl?
Maybe they should grant money to study the little girl as well as the jellyfish!
are you kidding me????????????? can we leave "god" out of this? just for once???? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!????????
Wait? Seriously? One person surviving an incident like this is "proof" that god exists? So what about all the people killed by animals? Do we get to count those as "proof" that god doesn't exist?
Wishing you a speedy recovery Rachel.
If god cared at all, she wouldn't have been stung. Something absolutely horrific happens to a little girl, leaving her physically and mentally scarred, yet she manages to survive anyways. Therefore, god must be great? You may want to rethink that position.
Oh my god! I woke up today and brushed my teeth! It's a miracle!
Hey Brian .... you need to use your spell checker before trying to post a profound thought.